Confession: Doorway to Divine Mercy
My dear brothers and sisters,
as I write to you today, the Holy Spirit brings to my heart the subject of spiritual growth.
We have had the holy season of Lent in which we were to prepare ourselves for the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and from that, to the Glory of Easter, the Resurrection - the Victory over Death, particularly death from sin.
Because of Original Sin, of which we were all tainted at our birth, we must bear the natural consequences of it - that is, we must toil for our daily bread, we must suffer, women suffer in childbirth, and all of us, without exception, must die and at that moment we will have our Particular Judgment.
We have also had Divine Mercy Sunday, and I often wonder why anyone with one grain of supernatural grace, would not have, during this extensive time, taken the time to go to the Sacrament of Penance, to have received Our Lord worthily in the Most Blessed Sacrament to aid in our spiritual growth. What is more merciful than the confessional?
But as I speak with people, I find that many are no longer concerned about sin - their personal sins. They do not concern themselves with the sins of others, those deeds and words that are known through the vastness of our communications today. We have sin all around us, and what are we doing about it?
First, if we are to grow spiritually, we must first acknowledge that we do sin, that we are responsible to God for our personal sins, and we are obliged by Holy Mother Church to confess our sins, to be sincere of heart when we do so, and to make reparation for our sins in this life, that we do not have to spend time in Purgatory in the next.
My dear brothers and sisters, how great is the Mercy of God to allow us these many feast days during which we have the opportunity of confessing our sins, being absolved of them, and having ALL punishment due to them wiped away. In short, were you to do this during this Eastertide, and were you to die, you would go straight to Heaven.
Often, I have written to you about holiness, about how God calls us to sanctity. He does not call us to be lukewarm in our One True Faith, but to be its champion at every single moment of our lives. It appears to me, from what I have read, heard, researched, etc., that the de-emphasis today on the Sacrament of Reconciliation-Penance has caused great lukewarmness among the faithful.
As you know, our family now attends the Traditional Latin Mass in our area. I want you to know that the priest hears confession each Sunday morning prior to Mass, and each Sunday the line is long…and it is not just us "old fogies" but also the young who are truly the future of Holy Mother Church, who are in line. I believe with all my soul and heart that the reason you find the number of faithful going to Confession at the Traditional Latin Mass is because within this Rite, which is right, the knowledge of the tenets of our One True Faith have not been lost, nor have they been watered down. These people are well aware of the august privilege that is theirs by attending the HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS, for it must always be the Eternal Sacrifice, unless the true meaning of the MASS be diminished to a mere meal, and the true Presence of Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, is dismissed as mere "superstition" and relegated to the realm of symbolic only.
Believe me, this is the mindset of many, many faithful. It is also the mindset of many priests, and even of bishops throughout this country.
When this happens, my dear brothers and sisters, we are in danger of having no true path to follow toward our spiritual growth. How can we grow in holiness when we do not recognize that we are sinners all, in great need of our Lord's Mercy at all times? We do not seem to have that sense anymore of the greatness of God, and of our nothingness compared to His. We have somehow lost that sense of reverence, of awe, of being led to God through the actions of the priest, and of coming to Communion well prepared in soul, in heart, and in mind.
I ask you to reflect on your own personal spiritual growth during the past season of Lent, and the current season of Eastertide. Did you grow in holiness? Did you want to? Did you even think about it?
If, perchance you let the seasons slip by unattended by you, if you somehow derived nothing from the time of penance and mortification of Lent, found yourself just "going to church" on Easter Sunday morning because you "have" to, then may I humbly suggest that you take stock of your spiritual situation now, while you are still privileged to have the reward that comes from Confession and the worthy reception of the Most Blessed Sacrament? Do you think it's worth the effort, or have you, as a member of your parish, found that the Blessed Sacrament is rarely talked about, rarely reverenced, and you and your fellow parishioners are participant in a "celebration" rather than a sacrifice, the ETERNAL SACRIFICE OF THE MASS?
As we meditate upon our spiritual growth together through prayer and intercession, may the Holy Spirit enlighten all of us to the truth - the truth of our sinfulness and our need to receive absolution in Confession; the truth that we are in great need of the most august Sacrament of the Blessed Sacrament - so that, together in prayer, we may grow in holiness and in wisdom and prudence as we approach the Ascension and then Pentecost.
I am praying with and for you. I thank you for praying with and for my family and me.
Your very little sister in Christ,
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April 25, 2001
volume 12, no. 115
Cyndi Cain's SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column